Ok, so you might have some preconceived notions about this recipe once you hear the name. Grapes on focaccia…how in the world can that taste good? Let me say that this is exactly what I thought as well. As some of you may know from my previous posts I am dating an Italian man…and his family (it just comes with the package). I like to try to make authentic Italian food for Carlo and challenge my cooking abilities. If I have an authentic Italian that is ready and willing to try my concoctions…then I am willing to attempt them.
Most of the time I am the one prodding Carlo to think of different dishes or baked goods from Italy for me to test out…but one afternoon I receive an email from him out of the blue asking me if I think I could make this Grape Focaccia for him. I looked at it with suspicion for a moment and asked him if he sent this by accident and meant to send something savory. He replied, “No, this is something that the bakers back in my hometown used to make every once in a while. I love it!” I replied with hesitation, “Alright…if you are sure that this is what you ate as a child and liked it…I’ll do my best at recreating it.”
So, I go ahead and make this fruity focaccia and serve it up nice and warm. I let him bite into it first (waiting for his reaction) and he said “It tastes just like when I was little!” Whew…a sigh of relief goes through me and I take my first bite. To my amazement, it is actually really good! I did however make a bit of my own modification while eating it later…I heated it up a bit more and added a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!
Focaccia con l’uva a.k.a Grape Focaccia
- 1 1/3 cups warm water about 105°F to 115°F
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 ½ cups flour
- Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine, such as Chianti
- 1 ½ -2 cups red grapes preferably concord but any good red grape works
Pour warm water and wine in the bottom of a mixing bowl and sprinkle with the yeast packet and swirl. Once the yeast is dissolved, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir until dissolved. Let set until the yeast begins to look a bit foamy. This will also let you know if your yeast is alive.
Attach a dough hook to the mixer and with it on, slowly add the flour. Once the flour is added, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow the machine to knead the dough until it forms a ball.
Place the dough ball in a large oiled bowl and let it rest in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, cut the grapes in half.
When the dough has doubled in size, spread onto a parchment lined baking pan covering the entire surface with the dough. It is alright if there are holes in the dough. Spread the grapes on the surface in a somewhat even layer.
Cover with oiled plastic wrap and a clean cloth and let rest for another hour.
Heat oven to 400°F.
When the dough is done rising for the second time, smush the grapes into the dough a bit more. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar…use more if needed. You really want a crunchy sweet crust. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown and cook through. Once you pull it out of the oven, lightly drizzle with olive oil. Trust me, this makes it so delicious.
Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into squares and dig in!
*To make extra special, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!